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Advanced academic writing for PhD researchers

Are you a PhD/PhD student writing scientific texts in English? Would you like to improve their academic quality? This course will give you a clear insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your writing.

Building on an analysis of participants' own texts submitted prior to commencement, this course gives you a clear idea of your strengths and weaknesses concerning written academic English. It shows you what you can do to improve your confidence in the short term, helps you to eradicate those silly mistakes, and gives you new options for expressing complex ideas in well-structured English sentences, so that you can add some variation to your writing. There is an emphasis on improving the clarity and compactness of your writing. On top of that you will be able to check and revise your own writing in a methodical fashion using a detailed editing checklist.

You will learn how to write in well-structured English sentences on complex academic topics, allowing you to write in a more varied way. A practical checklist will help you. 

The course is intensive and lasts two weeks: three meetings in the first week and two in the second week. You will be given tools to improve your writing confidence and avoid unnecessary mistakes in a short space of time. The emphasis is on improving the clarity and conciseness of your writing. You will also learn how to systematically revise your own work using a comprehensive checklist. 

Working method
At the start of the course, you submit a text written in English, which you will work on during the course. For feedback, the teacher uses ELS-online, the ALP's feedback system. You will be reviewed using several revised versions of your own work and other editing assignments. 

For whom?
Dutch and English speaking PhD students who want to improve or strengthen their academic English. 

Dr. Ursula Caci

Dates and time
The course is offered each year in November and May.

Monday, 8 May 2023
Tuesday, 9 May 2023
Thursday, 11 May 2023
Monday, 17 May 2023
Tuesday, 16 May 2023

All classes are from 9.30 to 12.15 hrs. 

Credits: 3

€ 475

Registration and contact
Click here for registration form

For information and questions, please send an e-mail to the ALP's course administration: Please mention the workshop code and title: PhD-C-EN-2 / Advanced academic writing

Contact Academic Language Programme

For VU staff: you can contact us about ALP courses for you or your students or with questions about language policy or communicative skills.

Dr. Gea Dreschler, academic director ALP

Dr. Camille Welie, coordinator ALP for Dutch (NT1, NT2)

For students: for questions or information about a course, workshop or coaching, contact us at